One major improvement that comes with a cochlear implant is no more squealing or whistling. If I was about to hug someone, I got nervous because I feared my hearing aid would squeal. It happened a few times and made me uncomfortable or embarrassed depending on who the other person was. The cochlear implant doesn’t squeal. The only time I get feedback with the implant is when using certain cell phones. The sound is more like static or the noise you hear when a modem makes in connecting right after the tone.
I could hear the squealing most of the time and it wasn’t easy to adjust the hearing aid to make it stop. I either had to lower the volume or jiggle the ear mold until I heard nothing.
But there were times when I couldn’t hear the whistling and someone would bring it to my attention. I knew the person was doing me a favor, but it was still embarrassing as it sometimes meant unwanted attention. “Hey, who’s squealing in here??” kind of attention.
I had the volume on my hearing aids maxed out most of the time. So that caused plenty of annoying sounds leaking out. With the digital hearing aids, I didn’t have the volume all the way up. Same for cochlear implant.
Right before I got the implant, I started having problems with my digital hearing aids (they were not old!) and we sent them in for repair. I don’t think they fixed it, but by that time — it wasn’t worth dealing with. I tried to wear a hearing aid in the other ear, but it felt very uneven and uncomfortable. So I rely on the lone implant.